DrenchedIn Natyam : Classical & Neo Classical Artists Redefine Performing Arts In Their New Found Language
Dancers across the globe celebrate their cosmic high on arts this International World Dance Day
Srija Mukherjee | Kolkata
“Every day brings a chance for you to draw in a breath, kick off your shoes, and dance.” – Oprah Winfrey…
29 – April – 2018. Today, as the world celebrates the International World Dance Day we will hear from a bunch of devoted classical and neo – classical artists what does the art form really mean to them. Does it appeal to them as Ntriya, or as a therapy to human body – mind – soul – spirit.
When asked does she dance in her love & grief Adishree Khandelwal says :
“This is the truest gift of dance. Of-course I do. Dance gives you an entire world of your own where you are beyond the rights and wrongs. Listen to your heart and dance. It helps you to attain a right balance between your mind , body, and soul”.
Khandelwalis a senior Bharatnatyamdisciple of Padmabhushan Dr. Saroja Vaidyanathan & a young budding Psychology teacher in New Delhi. She further adds, “you have to believe in the healing power of the Natya Shastra. And it is beautifully beyond powerful.”
Natya Shastra being beautifully beyond powerful to one dancer, is a naturally therapeutic art form for the other dancer.
The meaning of the classic art form has various shades for many bodies. Bhavana Reddy, daughter of ace Kuchipudi dancers & Padmabhushanawardee Guru Raja & Radha Reddy, talks about it through her eyes.
She says, “To me it means so much, to name a few. It connects me with my ancestors, their beliefs, our customs and our ancient sciences that in present times are slowly proving to be the secrets to health eternal well being & happiness. I feel India is slowly taking a 360 degree turn and the west is chasing eastern wisdom.”
Bhavana is an established & noted international artist of today’s time.
Taking the thread of art talk forward Revanta Sarabhai, son of Padma Bhushan awardee Guru Mallika Sarabhai sketches a different picture of arts. He says, “I have never really thought of Indian Classical Dance or any art form as a therapy, though I would say practicing and performing Bharatanatyam does sometimes feel therapeutic to me. For me personally, dance is something I inherited, fell in love with, and continue to use it as a medium of expression and communication till date.”
Revanta is a constant & a celebrated global name for Bharatnatyam & Kuchipudi.
So does ancient Indian art form mean the same even for people across geographies?
Wanphen L. Sreshthaputra, a mother of two & an International Civil Servant of the United Nations, open up about her rhythm romance. She says,“I have been learning Bharat Natyam for very many years, ever since my student days in the French city of Lyon in Europe, and later on in South-East Asia where I worked before moving to India. It’s only about six years ago when my work life brought me to New Delhi that I had the opportunity to practice much more intensely and learn under the inspiring guidance of Padmabhushan Dr. Saroja Vaidyanathan. Naturally, over the years, my understanding of the richness, depth and intricacy of Bharat Natyam evolved greatly. It’s certainly a life-long process. “
From the voices sharing their thoughts on deccan classical arts, here is a voice who is trained in Odissi and is now spear heading the movement therapy in Bengal, Angira Chakravortydasgupta speaks more on classic rhythm & the rhythm of human bodies. Angira quotes, “Movement therapy started with the American Dance Therapy Association. It was founded in 1966 to establish &maintain the standards of professional education in the field of dance/movement therapy.”
A certified movement therapist herself from Kolkata Sanved collaborated with Tata Institute of Social Sciences& an established classical dancer, Angira devotedly works with internal movements of human beings. She helps people working with her, to identify more about the rhythm of their heart beats, rhythm of their own breath, rhythm & sync of their own movements. Adding a very very different dimension to the language of dance, Angira’s current body of work deals with therapeutic& cognitive benefits to the masses at large.
To conclude in a nutshell, the meaning of dance is as vast as the blue of any ocean, more pure than the meaning of pure & as essential as our life basics.
So here’s wishing to the dancer in every individual, celebrated or still to celebrate, a phenomenal International World Dance Day!!
Srija Mukherjee is Kolkata based Journalist and Contributor of Kashmir Patriot. She can be reached at : [email protected]